Monthly Archives: July 2016

Schedule for the Week of August 1, 2016

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August is here already! How did that happen?

This week’s classes will focus on our solar plexus chakra, so we’ll be firing up our cores. Here’s where you can find me this week.

Monday

Tuesday

  • 7:30 p.m. Moving Beyond yoga demo at Cancer Support Community, St. Francis Health Cancer Center

Wednesday

Thursday

  • 3 p.m. Moving Beyond yoga demo at Cancer Support Community, St. Francis Health Cancer Center

Saturday

Peace,

Debra

 

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#FunFriday: Sacral Chakra

Ending the week on a light note, here on some songs that probably won’t help balance your chakra but might give you a giggle. Viewer be warned: these are some seriously cheesy videos.

Because the sacral chakra is the seat of creativity, pleasure and emotions, here are the Rolling Stones to the rescue.

We can count on the superb Marvin Gaye for some additional healing.

The Georgia Satellites remind us of the anatomical focus of this chakra, …

… while Nat King Cole celebrates the color of svadhisthana, …

… and Eddie Rabbitt reminds us that the element associated with the second chakra is water.

Got your chakra in order? Time to embrace pleasure and celebrate!

#ThoughtfulThursday: Sacral Chakra

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Just as with last week when we were dealing with the root chakra, bringing the sacral chakra back into balance involves looking inward and asking sometimes difficult questions.

Self Reflection

Questions relating to the sacral chakra focus on finding healthy ways to allow ourselves to express and connect to our emotions, creativity, and pleasure. As with all things, we’re looking for balance here. Holding on too tightly can result in addictive behavior; too loosely results in denial. The key is to find ways to live your life that is true to you in a positive. fulfilling way. That balance isn’t easy but, with self-study, we can find our way back to balance more easily.

Some questions to consider:

  • Do I have a creative outlet?
  • Am I able to express my desires?
  • Am I comfortable giving and receiving?
  • How do I approach change in my life?
  • What do you blame myself for?
  • Do I sacrifice my own well-being for the sake of others?
  • Do I feel worthy to receive good things? happiness?
  • Have I allowed another’s criticism to hold me back from a creative outlet or activity that I love?

Affirmations

Affirmations can be used as positive reinforcement to help in healing. If one of these statements seems difficult to express, examine that feeling and determine why that is so and how to correct it. In addition, sometimes affirming what we wish for ourselves can help it manifest.

  • I feel.
  • I am worthy of love.
  • I am a sensual and creative being.
  • My senses are alive and connected.
  • I embrace life with passion and abundant joy.
  • I am radiant.
  • Life is sweet and I enjoy it.
  • I have a right to do and be what I want.
  • I release sacrifice from my life.
  • I release the doubts and fears that hold me back from living the life I deserve.
  • I love myself unconditionally.
  • I am entitled to happiness, health and joy.
  • I can release myself from any situation that doesn’t allow me to be fully who I am.
  • I am thankful for learning from my mistakes.
  • I am happy and alive.
  • I am beautiful.

May your day be filled with beauty and joy.

Peace,

Debra

#WellnessWednesday: Sacral Chakra

photogrid_1469578863209.jpgSo far this week, we’ve discussed how to bring balance to the sacral chakra, or svadhisthana, through meditation and nutrition and cooking. Today, we’ll look at activities that can bring balance.

Since one of the signs of an imbalanced sacral chakra is stifled creativity, adding new creative exercises to your life can help stimulate healing. These exercises might include creative pursuits like painting, coloring, writing, singing, or cooking. Maybe think of an activity you loved to do at a child but quit doing because someone told you that you weren’t good enough; reclaim that joy and revisit that childhood joy.

The same may be said about physical activities. Was there something you loved as a child that you haven’t pursued as an adult? I used to love roller skating, biking and hula hooping, so I bought a weighted hoop and am re-learning something that used to come easily to me.

Other physical pursuits might include swimming, water walking, or taking a walk beside your favorite body of water since the svadhisthana’s element is water.

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Asanas

Asanas, or yoga poses, that focus on the hips and asymmetrical forward folds are particularly helpful when working with the sacral chakra. Here are few of my favorites:

May you find pleasure and creativity in movement!

Peace,

Debra

#TastyTuesday: Sacral Chakra

DifficultLast week, we looked at how the food relates to the root chakra. This week, we’ll do the same with the sacral chakra.

Eating food associated with each chakra can help us to bring it into balance. Because the sacral chakra is the seat of pleasure and creativity, healing can come from not only eating certain foods, but also through the creative process of cooking.

If you’ve never cooked before, don’t let fear or inexperience stop you. Find a cooking class or YouTube video to learn techniques, use a basic cookbook to help you get started, or ask a more experiewp-1469562297204.jpgnced family member or friend for help in the kitchen. And if it’s not perfect? Who cares! You get to eat your mistakes. Let yourself have fun in the kitchen.

The sense associated with this chakra is taste and the Sanskrit word, svadhisthana, means sweet. Let your favorite tastes and treats inspire you. Foods traditionally used to heal this chakra are liquids (think of beverages, smoothies, and soups). Other foods might include orange vegetables and fruits like pumpkin, mangoes, oranges, tangerines, papaya, and cantaloupe. Walnuts, almonds, coconut and chocolate are additional options.

Here are the recipes I made for the week.

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Chocolate Coconut Cookies

This is a slight adaptation of a recipe from Patrick and Gina Neely for the Food Network.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together:

  • 3/4 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 t. sea salt

In a large bowl, use a mixer to combine:

  •  1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar

Add in:

  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg

Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture until combined; repeat twice. Once the dry and wet ingredients are combined, use a wooden spoon to mix in the following, stirring gently until ingredients are just combined:

  • 3/4 c. sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c. toffee pieces
  • 1/2 c. chopped nuts (I use walnuts but pecans or almonds would also work)

Use a scoop chilled in ice water to place the cookie dough onto parchment lined cookie sheets, about 2 to 3 inches apart. Bake 13 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet an additional 5 minutes before letting the cookies cool completely on a cookie rack.

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Curry-Spiced Carrot Soup

This recipe is from 300 Sensational Soups by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds, which is one of my all-time favorite cookbooks (I have a rather ridiculous number of yoga books and cookbooks. Don’t judge me.). I’ve never made a soup from this book that I didn’t like. It’s great for use with fresh farmers market vegetables, and most of these soups freeze well, effectively extending the season.

Ingredients

  • 2 T. unsalted butter
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 lbs. carrots, chopped
  • 1 T. curry powder (I like to use a hot blend to offset the sweetness of the carrots)
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 6 c. chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 c. long-grain white rice
  • 2 t. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 c. half-and-half cream
  • 1/4 c. minced cilantro
  1. In a large pot, heat butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until softened. Add carrots, curry powder and salt; saute until carrots start to soften. Add stock and bring to boil. Add rice, reduce and simmer until carrots and rice are tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. Using an immersion blender, or food processor or blender in batches, puree soup until smooth. Return to the pot, if necessary, and stir in lemon juice, salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in cream and reheat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until steaming. Do not let boil.
  3. Ladle into heated bowls and garnish with cilantro.

Enjoy!

Debra

 

 

#MondayMeditation: Sacral Chakra

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Last week, we explored the root chakra. This week we continue moving on to the next of our seven chakras: the sacral chakra or svadhisthana.

Sacral Chakra Basics

The sacral chakra, as the name implies, is located on the spine at the sacrum roughly between the base of the spine and the belly button and is associated with the hips, pelvis, and reproductive organs. The svadhisthana is the seat of creativity, pleasure, and emotions.

When the sacral chakra is out of balance, we may be resistant to change, depressed, and highly self-critical. Our imbalanced response to pleasure in all its forms can lead to either deep-seated guilt or addiction. In relation to our sex drive, imbalances may manifest as  hypersexuality or repression.

When in balance, we are open to creativity and pleasure and are receptive to change. We can trust ourselves and others. We are in tune with our feelings and open to joy.

Healing Through Meditation and Visualization

We can awaken the chakras in many ways, including meditation and visualization. Included here are some simple suggestions.

Light meditation: The color of the svadhisthana is orange. Meditate on the color orange, imagining a spinning ball of orange, glowing light gathering and growing at the sacrum. Imagine that light moving along the spine and filling the body, stimulating warmth and vitality. Imagine the entire body is filled with and surrounded by a warm, orange glow. Feel the body open up to emotions without fear, creativity without judgment. As you come to the end of your meditation, let that ball of light become smaller and smaller, returning to its place of origin. Feel vital and alive.

Mantra meditation: You can meditate using a simple mantra. The simplest option is to repeat “I feel” with each breath, mentally saying “I” with the inhale and “feel” with the exhale. Or you could vocalize the Bija mantra of the sacral chakra by taking a deep breath in and chanting “VAM” on the exhale (the “a” sounds more like calm than lamb or click here to hear the correct pronunciation).

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Visualization: The element associated with the sacral chakra is water. You can use this water meditation from 1001 Meditations by Mike George:

“The lake of calm. Visualize a beautiful mountain lake, its surface smooth as glass. Feel a breeze come up, sending ripples across the water. Then as the breeze dies, watch the ripples subside and the water become calm. Throughout the day, whenever a disturbance ruffles the surface of your mood, recall the image of the lake; feel the ripples of emotion settle into calm.”

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Enjoy the rest of your day. Tune in tomorrow for #TastyTuesday.

Peace,

Debra

Schedule for the Week of July 25, 2016

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This week we continue on our journey through the chakras with class sequences and blog posts focusing on the sacral chakra, the center of our creativity and pleasure.

Here’s where you’ll be able to find me this week.

Monday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

The week should be interesting since I’m not a morning person… but we’ll have fun!

Peace,

Debra

#FunFriday: Root Chakra

Look, kids! I made you a mixed tape. Hope you like it (and hope you have a sense of humor).

Remember that our basic needs must be met for the root chakra to be in balance and before we can work on the remaining six. So let’s get back to the basics.

Our basic needs include food, water, and shelter.

And don’t forget to get your financial house in order.

With the root chakra, we connect to the earth element…

…and the color red.

 

We are survivors!

#ThoughtfulThursday: Root Chakra

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Healing the root chakra is not a simple task. Meditation, movement and nourishing ourselves are all important steps, but to truly bring our root chakra into balance, some difficult questions must be addressed. We must truly forgive others and ourselves for mistakes or perceived wrongs that we are holding onto.  We must let go of being the victim of someone else’s actions and take responsibility for our lives. We must be honest with what we truly need in our lives versus what we want.

Self Reflection

There are several questions you can ask yourself when your root chakra is unbalanced. Some questions will resonate more than others. Keep in mind that sometimes the ones that make us the least comfortable are the ones we should spend the most time on. Be as specific and honest as possible with your answers.

  • What am I afraid of most?
  • How can I improve my financial well-being?
  • How have I honored my body today?
  • How can I re-connect with nature?
  • Are my needs being met? If not, what can I do to meet them?
  • What do I blame myself for? What do I blame others for?

Affirmations

The following affirmations can be used as positive reinforcement to help in healing. If one of these statements seems difficult to express, examine that feeling and determine why that is so and how to correct it.

  • I am here now.
  • I am safe.
  • I am secure.
  • I am at peace.
  • I am where I need to be.
  • I trust more and fear less.
  • I am loved and protected.
  • I am strong.
  • I am free and happy with myself.
  • I forgive and release the past.
  • I welcome good into my life.
  • I take responsibility for my life.
  • I love and honor who I am.

Sometimes these questions and affirmations will be easy, but often they will be challenging. At different points in our lives, our responses may be different. Be ready to re-examine yourself whenever you need to. Life is full of constant change and we can choose to meet that change with positive energy.

Peace,

Debra

#WellnessWednesday: Root Chakra

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So far this week, we’ve discussed how to bring balance to the root chakra, or muladhara, through meditation and nutrition. Today, we’ll look at physical activities that can bring balance.

Since one of the signs of an imbalanced root chakra is feeling disconnected from the body, exercise plays a key role in healing. Activities like camping, gardening, walking, or hiking that take us outside help us feel more grounded. Yoga or dance, practices that help build body and breath awareness, are also especially beneficial.

photogrid_1469046400903.jpgAsanas

Asanas, or yoga poses, that focus on the feet and base of the spine are particularly advantageous when working with the root chakra. Here are few of my favorites:

May you find joy and peace in movement!

Peace,

Debra

 

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